Dozens dive into cold Deschutes for Bend's Polar Plunge

Annual event benefits Special Olympics Oregon

Dozens of people run into Deschutes River

BEND, Ore. - Many people willingly took a dip in the frigid Deschutes River Saturday morning to support Special Olympics Oregon.

"We have a lot of special Olympic athletes that come into the studio," said participant Jamie Lesowske. "We think this is such a cool way to fundraise, and it's a little more fun than just writing a check."

Starfire Piercing Studio is one of several groups that took to the water during the 2018 Polar Plunge.

"It's a great experience, not only for new people that want to try it out, but especially for people with disabilities," said costume contest judge Zach Herrmann. "It gives them a chance to do something they've never been able to do."

To have the privilege of jumping into the water, each participant had to raise a minimum of $50 for Special Olympics Oregon.

"It's just a great cause and we love this," said participant Rob Poirier. "We support it, between this and law enforcement, torch run, and everything Special Olympics Oregon. We are excited to help."

Everyone was gathered for the same cause, and despite the cold, they had smiles on their faces. 

"You know, helping out and making a difference is just what makes it go home for me," Herrmann said. 

For more information about the Polar Plunge, click here.

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